crimesider

Pair of break-ins worry small NH town, blind man attacked

(CBS) CHESTER, N.H. -  Two burglaries in the same neighborhood have rattled the small town of Chester in southern New Hampshire.

In one case, a precious family heirloom was stolen. In the second, a blind man was knocked over and beaten, CBS Boston reported.

"I have to say it was scary," said 22-year-old Joe Gesel, who is legally blind. He was working on a Braille project for Epping Elementary School when he heard strange noises in his living room, went downstairs, and was confronted by a man who assaulted him.

He now has a black eye and a large wound on his back, and tousands of dollars in jewelry was taken from the home.

Nearby, homeowners say someone broke in through a window and made off with a lot of jewelry, including a precious family heirloom - a gold chain with a crucifix, valued at $7,000 according to resident Richard Stapleford.

The crucifix was handed down from his grandfather who had it made from gold mined in South America.

"I felt pretty honored to be the one in the family to get it," he said. "I feel I was supposed to protect it and that didn't happen."

He's posting flyers around town and is offering a $1,000 reward for the item's return.

Chester Police say both crimes happened around the same time, and it's possible the same people are responsible.

"We want people to be vigilant," said Chester Police Lt. Aaron Berube. "We want people to be looking out for their neighbor. We want to be notified if there's anything unusual."

  • Barry Leibowitz

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